Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Tapestry of Our Lives

The fabric of our past is more often fragile and faded than neat and precise.

As we search the sources of our being, the interwoven fibers of our heritage twist and crumble into threadbare edges. We become lost in curiosity and conjecture. What may have been reality is never completely clear.

To borrow from another analogy, history is always being rewritten as new pieces to the puzzle are discovered. Our own family histories are the same.

Each family comes wrought with myths and legends. One purpose of genealogy research is proving or disproving those myths.

Genealogy is the drama of ordinary people doing ordinary everyday things--and sometimes doing extraordinary things.

Birth dates, marriage dates, death dates--all the dates that delineate our lives--are the bare, dry bones (threads) of genealogy. Little anecdotes put flesh on the skeleton (or texture and color on the tapestry).

Often in pursuit of the skeletal facts--those innumerable, pesky and sometimes mind-numbing dates--one gets bogged down--until the discovery of a letter or a journal or a photograh which makes an ancestor breathe. Those moments make it all worthwhile.

The tapestry begins to take shape. The image of our ancestor becomes more lucid. The need to know more continues to motivate us and move us toward the next goal.

"If a man is fortunate he will, before he dies, gather up as much as he can of his civilized heritage and transmit it to his children. And to his final breath he will be grateful for this inexhaustible legacy, knowing that it is our nourishing mother and our lasting life."
~~~Will and Ariel Durant

2 comments:

TravelinOma said...

You are blowing me away! I love your images!

Olive's Granddaughter said...

Marty, Glad you like my new blog. Thanks for visiting.